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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 7, 2014 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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service by your local cable or satellite provider. >> on washington journal, colors offer their thoughts on the day. this is one hour 25 minutes. >> i have withdrawn the troops. my decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available.
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the troops, the air and the navy did all that bravery and devotion to do. if any fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone. that is a note that dwight eisenhower carried around with him. he accidentally dated at july 5. he meant to june 5. never had to release the note because the invasion was successful. troops crossed the english channel with an armada of 5000 votes. the largest military armada still in history. and they invaded the normandy coast 70 years ago today. for the next hour and a half year on the washington journal, we are going to be live from the world war ii memorial on the mall in washington dc we want to get your calls. we want to talk about d-day, the importance of d-day, world war ii, and we are going to set aside our third line for those
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million plus world war ii veterans who are still alive and those of you who remember world war ii. here are the numbers. remember d war ii. here are the numbers. we want to hear from you for the next hour and half. go ahead and start dialing in. right before the invasion, the supreme leader, general dwight eisenhower spoke to the troops. here is audio of that speech. >> soldiers, sailors and airmen of the allied expeditionary force. au are about to embark upon great crusade toward which we have stood in these many months. the eyes of the world are upon
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you. the hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. in company with our brave allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the german war machine , the immolation ofnazu. -- nazi tyranny over europe. your task will not be an easy one. your enemy is well-trained, well-equipped and battle hardened. he will fight savagely. but this is the year 1944. much has happened since the naz i triumph of 1941. our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. our home front have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war.
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and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. the tide has turned. the freemen of the world are marching together to victory. i have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. we will accept nothing less than full victory. beseechk and let us all the blessing of almighty god upon this great and noble undertaking. the temperature on that d-day about 60 degrees on the normandy coast in france. 100 miles was the distance of the english channel. over00 troops, 5000 votes, 4400 deaths that day alone. 2500 of them were americans. about nine countries participated.
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million plus vets still living. we are at the world war ii memorial. this was open in 2004. it was commissioned in 1990 or by president bill clinton. open file a in 2004. cost tolion is what it build this memorial. it is the only memorial on the mall dedicated to world war ii. it's between the washington monument and the lincoln memorial. it is divided into pacific and atlantic regions. all of the states and territories are marked on here.
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it is a gathering place for world war ii vets. with are mercy flights world war ii vets in nearly every day during the spring and tourist seasons here in washington. senator barbara hall, who chaired the effort together the private donations -- senator bob dole, who chaired the effort together the private greeton, he and his wife world war ii veterans throughout the year. he doesn't advertise a necessarily. but he does come down here nearly every saturday. and we have covered him. our american history tv channel has covered him. normandy obama was in this morning and he spoke a little bit. >> here, we don't just commemorate victory as proud as victor -- as part of victory as we are.
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,e don't just honor sacrifice as grateful as the world is. why americaemember and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at this moment of maximum peril. we come to tell the story of the men and women did it. it remains seared into the world.of a future we tell this story for the old soldiers who pulled them self a little straighter today to salute brothers who never made it home. the story for the daughter who clutches a faded photo of her father when they were young, to the child who runs his fingers over colorful livered -- colorful ribbons that he knows are of great
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significance even though he does not fully understand why. we tell the story to bear witness we can what happened when the boys from america reached omaha beach. >> 160,000 troops crossed the english channel on d-day 70 years ago today. by the end of june, 875,000 troops had made that crossing once the beachhead was established along the normandy coast. 4400 plus people were killed on d-day 2500 of them being americans. for the next hour and a half year at the world war ii memorial, we want to hear from you and get your remembrances of world war ii and your thoughts. we will begin with mark in hawaii. caller: yes, thank you. hawaiianing from the standard time zone and the pacific mountain line.
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greatest the , capital g, they left the say legacy that can only aspire is to be. december 20th him he was in theater of operations, not on d-day. they opened the way. he said he would have liked to stay over there. but he had to come back. everything has changed now. the war was good. had we lost, it would have wrecked the economy. now the war is a loss leader. these are new challenges.
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the malaysian air, that was osama bin laden. an uncertain in undisclosed, unknown location and they will keep doing it. any plan, any place, anytime. host: that was market hawaii. he talked about the war economy. it is estimated are pretty well figured out the world war ii cost the u.s. about four dollars trillion -- four children dollars in current dollars -- $4 trillion in current dollars. in 1939, when germany first invaded:, the u.s. army was at about 140,000 troops only. two years later, it was already a 1.20 5 million in 1941. d-day, june 6, 1944, the word in europe officially ended 11 months later on may 8, 1945.
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lucy, you are on c-span. caller: thank you for taking my call. it warms my heart. to sees me feel so proud the documentaries of the day and these brave, brave man getting off those little boats. it just makes me feel that, you know, thank god for the united states. one of the things that is different now is that, during this war, when we had a very defined enemy, this whole country was one. everybody rest to defend these countries. unum, united we stand. the sad thing now today, everybody is in their own little
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special interest groups and all of this ridiculous political stuff going on. i mean, this is what happens when people work together when we were a strong army before the war and look at what we did in this short period of time. we became an industrial powerhouse, churning out everything to defeat this monster. think of this we did. i am just so route -- thank goodness we did. i'm just so proud to be an american. that day, on d-day, the germans lost about a thousand troops. 44 hundred troops. next up is carolyn in virginia beach, virginia. was seven years old when the day started. i had three uncles in it. the reason i call this because you said something this morning that burned my ears.
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you said that eisenhower was called the supreme commander. he was not. he was the allied commander. the only supreme in this country is obama. he was never called the supreme commander. you should know that. he was the allied commander in >> thank you for that. what do you remember at seven years old? caller: i remember, even before we had lacked out, my father was an air raid warden. i remember. we were try to get news all the time and it was horrible. it really was. we didn't really know what happened to my uncles until 10 or 12 days later. it was a thing that we had waited a long time to get into the war because of resident roosevelt. but we went because we had already started in japan. shortages orember
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rationing? caller: oh, yeah. we used to save all kinds of ang things. .one, stockings they were the ones who had the scenes up the back. we were sitting all cons of things because of parachutes. butter, sugar. >> thank you, ma'am. margaret from pennsylvania. hello, on this day, 70 years ago, i was 19 years old. i was working as a secretary a in henkel, california where my husband was stationed. , we had been married just a few weeks. on that day, we went to church and we pray for those.
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we knew our husbands would be leaving soon. in august 1944. he was stationed under general patton. with him, he was in the battle of the bulge. he fought that battle and he was one of the lucky ones. he came back from that war and he lived to be almost 90 years. i will never forget the war. never in your life can you imagine a city like washington, d.c., new york, just full of soldiers, sailors, and greens. i still have my ration book as that lady before me mentioned. we at home, we did a lot. we did without sugar. we did without meat. all the will was gone -- all the
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wool was gone. the movie stars would have bond rallies. they would entertain the troops. america was very patriotic that day. this is what i remember so much from that day. us,argaret, can you tell when the war ended, do you remember that day and where you went, what you did? day, i was, on that in the movies. all of a sudden, in the middle of this movie, every bell, every church bell was ringing. the fire whistles were blowing. i will remember that day. that day was the happiest day of my life. never have i had such a feeling as that day, never. it was wonderful. and my husband came home december 19, 1945.
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>> that was margaret in pennsylvania sharing some of her memories. next is nathaniel in huntsville, alabama. caller: hello. i went to germany and france. the invasion 70 years ago, during that time, i was working in the shipyard and then i got drafted. one thing i notice now -- they gave us $20 a week. they called it the 5220. that helped me out a lot. they should do that now with these veterans when they come home, give them $20 a week because i lived off of that for a long time until i got readjusted. what years were you
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working in the shipyards? and when did you get drafted? what year did you get drafted? 1945 i in 1945, april 6, got drafted. when themy boot camp war got over in germany. i had already passed the test to be a gunner on one of those big lanes. but when the war got over, they sent me over as a truck driver. so my duties was to take the pw's out to the best of pw's out to the airfield and bring them home. that is what i did. host: how long were you in europe, nathaniel? caller: i was there just a little over a year because i was in france for four months. at the time, i was learning to speak french because i learned a lot of french.
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and then they sent me to germany. so that i had to stop my french. i was already learning spanish when i went over. so i had to jot my spanish and pick up german. wasarned for four months i there and i learned a lot of german, two, and i still practice those things when i go bank because there is a german girl there. and i practice my spanish. host: what do you remember of the condition of germany right after the war? eup.er: it was all tor everybody was going around
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saying -- you couldn't tell when street from the other. thing that was together were the train stations. everything was going at the train stations. to me, it was an enjoyable time because the germans were very happy. the work in the kitchen and everything. .e had it easy thank you, sir. thank you for sharing your memories. we are going to be here at the world war memorial until 10:00 a.m. eastern time, hearing from you, world war ii, d-day, of course. one of the people that
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participated in d-day, his name hal schip.p -- there is a world war ii memorial in new orleans. they have a recorded world history about world war ii. one of those oral histories is hal schipp talking about d-day. the second mission had rope. saw.l never forget what i two main impressions. one, the magnitude of over 7000 buses, all the way from merchant marine to coast guard in the higgins boats, you know. marinesmerchant
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received platforms on top of the water. here comes a jeep driving off over water. see battlewn and i ships. cruisers.rs -- i see just terrible. what a difference. the three u.k. bases, it was kind of a resort area. beach, the population, heavy fortifications. these rangers, gutsy guys, had
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got up. one impression was the magnitude. borders onas these the ground here in i looked down and saw them hand-to-hand fighting. my gosh, you know, it was hell on wheels down there. gutsy, gutsy,e so gutsy, true patriots all the way. muchare the ones we know for giving their lives so we can enjoy the freedoms such as we know today. the washington journal is live at the world war ii memorial in washington, d.c. it is between the washington monument and the lincoln memorial. it opened in 2004, commissioned by president clinton in 1994.
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it cost 100 $79 million, all private donations. million, all private donations. we want to hear you're a murmured says. -- we want to hear your remembrances. still over one million world war ii veterans still living today. or if you remember world war ii as a civilian as well. i want to share this note with you in case you did not see this. it was just reported this week that the last of the world war ii navajo code talkers died this week. the last of 29 navajo americans
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who developed a number editable code that helped allied was when world war ii died wednesday of kidney failure. chester nez was 93 years old. now we will go back to your calls and we will talk with william here in the area in alexandria, virginia. hello. caller: yes, good morning, think you for taking my call. that i amted to say very happy you are covering this . the world war ii memorial is a very special one for my family. my father, although he was not in d-day, he was with the marine division. he ran the beaches for different times with that group, including iwo jima and saipan. so this memorial is very dear to us. unfortunately, he never got to see it. he died in 2003, the year before it was opened and dedicated.
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there are a couple of things i wanted to say. i am very interested in world war ii because of my father's experience. i am a veteran and my son is a veteran. i learned quite a bit in my studies. one thing that has always interest me when people talk about the start of world war ii and how it started, and who started it. iny few seem to realize that 1939, that september 1, it was germany that invaded first. poland was later, invaded from the other side of the country, which is the eastside, by the forces of the ussr, the communist nation of the soviets at the time. crunched was in fact
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by two totalitarian countries, the worst in history, the soviets and the germans. germanst until the turned on the soviets in 1941 that the soviets then became our allies. that is a very important historical distinction to make on how and who actually started world war ii. always pointng i out at the world war ii monument is the gold stars on the wall that represent -- some people will look at they and say, well, you see 4000 stars on the walls. it doesn't look all that ee eachive until you s one of them represent 100 of our war dead.
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a hundred of those panels stacked up on top of each other to really get the essence of how many people really died in world war ii. which would really be something to see. maybe someday they could project those gold stars upon the washington monument to signify how many people actually died in world war ii. that is it for me. thank you very much for taking my call. host: thank you, william. william talked about deaths in world war ii. it is educated lee estimated that 61 million people lost their lives between 1937 when throughtacked china 1945, the end of the war. people, 45 million of those people were civilians. 16 million were military. , germany and axis
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killed.18 million were
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>> and he he came home. 2:00 at night, 2:00 in the day. i don't remember how long. i remember the first time we stayed under the ground. we were watching the place all the time.
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it was nice to get out there in time. host: elizabeth. when did you come to t? caller: in 1986. we came for freedom of. we had visa.
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it looked like three way here. host: elizabeth, i thank you for calling in this morning from bellevue, washington. next up is frank from fort lauderdale. caller: i had similar experience. my father worked in the shipyards was about getting ready towards the end of the war to get drafted. that probably would have meant japan because they hadn't surrendered yet. another thing i had a friend of
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mine father. my father was a jazz musician. he had a friend who still plays in the west coast of florida. his experience was that after he wasn't part of d-day, when they went to paris, he went and saw a jazz guitarist. my father was a jazz guitarist too. then years later, he made some friends in belgium and they had a reunion in new orleans. i joined him in new orleans and had a nice little party over there. he told me some of the experiences there. roger his name is, he works along the tampa bay area. he's about 92 now. i haven't seen him about six months. still plays drum in the dixie land band down there. he had some pretty interesting experiences he told me about.
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they have a program that chronicles the experience of world war ii. all right -- host: 400,000 americans were killed in world war ii. in 1989, u.s. army, 1,240,000 soldiers by the end of world war ii, 16 million american have served in uniform. mary clearwater, florida. caller: hi. i grew up in a little railroad town near oakridge, tennessee. i had wonderful teachers because they had wonderful physicists that worked in oakridge. we were told not to tell anything and we didn't. we kept our mouths shut.
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we hated hitler because he took all of the boys from our graduating class. we didn't have any ceremonies at all. in my diary, from a 15-year-old girl, i hated russia because russia kept telling us that we were groundhogs and not doing anything. they were screaming at us all the time and criticizing us. hitler and russia were my enemies because of the war. i'm reliving it. for ten cents we could go to the movies and see the newsreels over and over again. we didn't have gas for the car. we walked home up the hill and then go home. i thought we had seen in those movies.
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we didn't have anything luxurious. all of us did without sugar, without oil. many of the amenities we take for granted today. looking back on this, the big secret that united this country was communication. i had no idea at that time how everything knew -- everybody knew what was going on. we didn't think about other people helping us out. we were extremely patriotic. i can tell you to this day -- host: do you remember some of your classmates who did not make it back? from europe or the pacific? caller: yes. the boy across the street from me was harry buddy long. he was one of the first. he was a little older than i and
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i admired him. he was so good looking. he was shot down. he was an army air force. i later, after the war, i met my husband who was also a pilot. he was in the pacific. i married him in pensacola. this whole series is like my whole life because that was what i lived of all of the roosevelt years and into the eisenhower years. everybody knew what page we were on and we were all pulling together. i can tell you to this day those people who did not buy war stamps or war bonds, there were always those who were against
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the war. host: one more question for you, do you remember the gold star mothers? did you remember seeing those in the windows? caller: yes. i lost my brother eventually. yes. we had those in the windows. host: thank you ma'am. thank you for sharing your memory. we are down here at the world war ii memorial. we'll be here until 10:00 a.m. eastern time. now a little bit later we're covering this on c-span, susan eisenhower, the granddaughter of dwight eisenhower will be speaking down here at the memorial. you'll be able to see that tonight along with president obama's speech from this morning at normandy on the 70th anniversary. it was presidential reagan who spoke on the 40th anniversary of d-day. >> we stand on a lonely point on the northern shore of france.
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the air is soft but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men and the air was filled with a crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. at dawn and the morning of the 6th of june 1944, 225 rangers jumped off the craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. to climb these cliffs, and take out the enemy guns. the allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here. they would be trained on the beaches to stop the allies. they saw the enemy soldiers shooting down with machine guns and throwing grenades. the american rangers began to climb. they shot rope ladders over the peace of -- face of these cliffs
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and began to fall. they climbed shot back and held their footing. soon one by one, the rangers pulled themselves over the top and at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back. the 225 came here after two days of fighting only 90 could still bare arms. behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the ranger daggers that were trusted at the top of these cliffs. before me, are the men who put them there. these are the boys. these are the men who took the cliffs. these are the champions who helped free a continent. these are heroes who helped end
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a war. host: it was 50 degrees crossing the channel on that june day. 160 traps on traps on -- troopt first day. it was a good five days before they established a solid beachhead along the normandy coast there in france. live coverage from the world war ii memorial here in washington d.c. on the "washington journal." we are taking your calls. you remembrances about d-day and world war ii. if you want to share your world war ii remembrances with us. our next call is coming from john, another call from florida,
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this time in lake lake -- lak, florida. caller: i was a paper boy. he take over and it was right across the river from the philadelphia navy yard. i can tell you quickly, i saw uss washington, the uss new jersey of. i saw ships come in. i saw actual oil spills from our oil tankers. we didn't declare war. i also saw, right before world war ii came, all the soldiers came to our town with aircraft guns. all the stuff going on around there and people saying the unity of u.s. was splendid. it was an amazing time for me
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because my time came to be old enough for the korean war. but it was a grand time. i saw everything going on. that's about what i can thinking of. i can tell you for sure, we actually gave all kinds of scrap from our house. we actually -- my mother saved absolutely fat in a can and turned it into the united states government for artillery shows. all kinds of giving went on. fantastic time. i don't want to take anymore time. host: john, let's fast forward four years. what do you remember about the end? caller: i was in sixth grade. in school when the d-day and the teacher turned the radio on. all of us kids, the teachers and what have you. i can tell you flat out, not
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particularly religious, we said the lords prayer everyday and teachers did read out the bible. no matter what faith we were, i can tell you it was okay. we didn't have the stuff going on today. it was okay. but it was grand. i had five uncles. i had an uncle on iwo jima. i had an uncle shot in the leg in guam and uncle in india. yes, d-day, this was incredible. i still remember my father being so upset with the amount of death on that first day. it was just fantastic. i can tell you flat out that i worked for a dollar a day for bredmen and milkmen.
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all the guys were off when men and women were off in military. the rooms were three times or four times as large. they depended on boys like us to deliver the bread and milk and everything up to the houses. it was an extraordinary time. i felt i was contributing. we even had our own little platoons with helmets and stuff. it was just amazing. host: thank you sir for sharing that. jim is calling from ohio. you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. we all feel like we know you. you did such a great job. we're so happy c-span hasn't missed a beat. two quick stories for you.
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first i grew up in akron and my father during the war served as a lot of people did, i think. back home in guarding military installation. he was a security person at the air dock in goodyear. some people probably remember seeing a large dark structure that still stands at the akron-fulton airport. also something i didn't know what i was allowed, the course was assembled for the navy there in akron. that was a very prime target. the second thing, we hear a lot about the rangers and the infantry and the airborne and
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everything that serves on d-da. what a lot of people don't know, what saved the day for the allied invasion was the person that gave the order to move the battleships out. i don't remember who that is. so they can fire on the germans. the area bombardment had not taken them out and missed. somebody decided they said, we ought to move the battleships up there to within 6 or 800 yards. it was the battleships that took out the guns that beat down the german fire. the navy recently had a monument erected i think in omaha beach.
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to remember the naval involvement in that attack. i guess we shouldn't forget the navy. host: it was june 1941 that adolph hitler and the nazis attacked their first ally soviet union. that happened in june of 1941. they made quite a bit of headway. soviet union became an ally. that was in june 1941. it wasn't until december 1941 that pearl harbor happened on next call is maryann, winston, salem, north carolina. caller: i grew up here in
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winston-salem. i also glaw -- grew up here in north carolina. we also had soldiers that came and stayed at our house and then they asked us to do that. we livedded in florence, 35-miles from the coast. one day my sister and i were headed to the grocery store for my mother, which was only about a block away. the sirens went off. i grabbed my sister's hand really quick and ran. it scared me to death. anyway, those were special memories from there. then, during the war, we lived in charlotte. my dad rode a bike. i learned to ride that bike by
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flipping my foot through the rail because it was a man's bike. host: what is a victory bike? caller: a victory bike was one that -- we didn't make much. it was about an inch. the metal was about an inch thick for the whole frame of the bake. -- bike. the tires were not much bigger than that that. he rode that to work everyday. we had a victory garden, which was great. my class room, we knitted everyday after our teacher read to us after lunch. we knitted squares.
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host: do you remember rationing or flower and sugar and the coupons and everything? caller: yes. i had two sisters and we were only allowed to have one pair of shoes a year. my aunt who had no children, saved their coupon books for us because my mother like to dress us alike. she can get our shoes thanks to my aunt. my mother rolled bandages during that time. we saved everything. i still have a ration book sitting around too. the day that the war ended was so special. we lived in charlotte and my mother said, run downtown real quick on the bus. when we got down there as they were putting up -- it was so exciting because we had word that the war was ending or close
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to the end. they were putting all of that stuff up. we came back late that afternoon. we went and sat -- my grandfather's house was nine howells howell -- nine miles downtown winston. we were sitting there having our dinner. when it ended, we didn't have anything else but a cow bell. i remember taking that cow bell out on the backyard. we took pans. it was so exciting. it was so wonderful. who a wonderful time that our nation had. our memories were so wonderful. but sad too. i was so young. i didn't think about the real ramifications of all the death and destruction. host: thank you for calling in. george h. w. bush was the last president to have served in
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world war ii. bob dole was the last presidential candidate to have served in world war ii. steve is calling in from tucson. caller: thank you for taking my call. i just want to say, my dad was a survivor of utah beach. he was on the uss cole. the only ship sunk in an invasion. when i was growing up, my dad didn't talk about it. he just told me, steve, we were sunk. i didn't complete my mission. he did complete his mission. first ship in there. i'm so proud of him. right before gabrielle giffords got shot, i was researching my dad stuff. because he never talked about it. gabrielle giffords had a big celebration, produced all his awards, four brown star. turns out he was 3.5 hours in
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the north atlantic. then they started telling me the stories. it's funny, that generation, they were so proud but but yet, my dad was embarrassed. he thought he failed. that's all i want to say. i wanted to say that, he was on the uss, the only ship sunk. that ship that led the invasion. god bless america. host: that was steve in tucson, arizona. our center channel, book tv, which is c-span 2 on the weekends, has covered a lot of world war ii backs. rick at -- atkinson who won the pulitzer for world war ii.
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there's so many more backs at book tv. if would like to watch the authors talk about their books, you can go to backtv.org. you'll see the search function, you can type in world war ii or d-day. a list of backs you'll be able to watch right there on your computer. lot of books covered on book t. american tv will have a big special tomorrow on d-day. you'll be able to watch that on c-span 3. we're live here from the world war ii memorial. it was commissioned in 1994 by president bill clinton. also in 1994, president bill clinton spoke at the 50th anniversary of d-day in normandy. >> 50 years later, what a
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different world we live in. germany, japan and italy, liberated by our victory now stand among our closest allies and staunchest defender of freedom. russia, decimated during the war and frozen afterwards in communism. as freedom rings the liberation of this continent is nearly complete. now the question falls to our generation. how will we build upon d-day heroes? like the soldiers of omaha beach, we can't stand still. avoiding today's problems would be our own generations. for justice freedom has a price, it also has a purpose. and its name is progress. today our mission is to expand
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freedom's speech further. to test the full potential of each of our own citizens. to strengthen our families our faith and our communities. to fight indifference and intolerance. to keep our nation strong and delight the lives of those still dwelling in the darkness of undemocratic rule. our parents did that and more, we must do nothing less. they struggled this war so that we might strive in peace. we know that progress is not inevitable. but neither was victory of the beaches. the inner voice tells us to stand up and move forward. free people must choose. host: that was president bill clinton on the 50th anniversary of d-day.
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5000 navel vessels in history crossed the hundred mile channel on that day. beginning late in the evening on june 5th. the paratroopers sent in about 1:30 that morning and from 6:30 through noon 160,000 troops arrived on the beaches of normandy. by the end of the month, 185,000 troops crossed english channel. 16 million americans served during world war ii. we're hearing from many of them this morning. we're going to put the numbers back up on the screen. you can see that third number is set for those of you who remember world war ii. still well over a million world war ii vets surviving in the united states. we love to hear from you.
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we're hearing at the love memories. it's estimated by the veterans administration that about five to six hundred of our world world war ii vets are dying everyday. we're going to go next to fort lauderdale, florida. caller: he to call in memory of my father today. host: tell us about your father. caller: he was in the 29th infantry division. he was in the first wave that landed at omaha beach. host: what do you remember him telling you? is he alive today? caller: no. he passed away two years ago, he was 92. during my childhood and relatives would come over, he would share his memories.
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didn't go into great detail. kept it pretty short. in the 1990's, i was able to go on a trip with my parents back to france so that he could revisit the beach. that was pretty incredible. i saw the beach. it's a beautiful day. it looked peaceful, beautiful beach. i couldn't picture all the destruction that happened that day. we were on a bus tour and he was the only one on that bus tour that had gone through the experience. so the tour guide, the french tour guide asked him to get up in front of the bus with the microphone and talk about his experiences. that was really the first time i heard about everything in great
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detail. it was very moving experience. he also talked about it more afterwards with his grandson. he actually gave his grandson his purple heart. when he landed on the beach but i found out, more recently when he went into more detail, he actually dragged a buddy of his on the shore who was wounded. when he got to shore, he realized that he died. then the other thing, this story i heard a couple of times, they showed it in the movie "the longest day." when they made it to the cliff, everybody was kind of bunched up and they weren't moving forward. they kind of had this moment of indecision when they didn't know what to do. i believe it's general coda who walked along the beach. he standing there with the
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bullets flying by. we either stay here on the beach and die or move forward and die. let's move forward. in small groups there were bits of heroism when small group of men would move forward. other memorable thing he said to me, there were mines along the course. there were paths being gradualed developed because a soldier would be wounded, his legs would be exploded off. he was just laying there in the mine field. he was talking. he was still alive. he was telling the men very calmly, okay guys, move language that way. go to your right, you'll be okay. that's how they gradually advanced forward. host: thank you for bringing that to our attention and
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sharing that with our audience. the u.s. population in 1940 was 132 million just for reference. that's about 318 million today. 132 million in 1940, 400,000 americans were killed during world war ii. we are live down here at the world war ii memorial which was established in 2004. it's divided by atlantic and park. you -- park. you can see all the different state and territories that served from the united states. we're taking your calls. next up is emily in sarasota. caller: my father was a dentist. he was in the reserved. we ended up going to the war before pearl harbor and moved my
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mother, my sister and i, i think i was four or five years old. we went from camp grand in illinois to campgrounder in missouri then fort jackson in columbia, south carolina where he was shipped out in 1944. then, once he got over to england, he was there for a while. then ended up going across d-day plus 30. there was a truck and a driver. the ideas to have get the soldier back into battle as soon as possible. in addition to that, because he had an x-ray, he was able to take and develop pictures and he kept a journal. i also have the correspondence the e-mails that my mother and he exchanged during the war.
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then after he left, we moved to orlando because there was an air force base there. we could go to the px. then we ended up just waiting out the war there. i don't have memories of the collecting scrap and doing some of those other things. it was interesting to me to have all his pictures and all the other things that he was able to contribute to our family. host: have you gone through and read his journal? caller: , i read all of that. i put it all into a family history document. actually did day by day what his journal had and the letters from my mother.
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when you put the comparison all together, it makes an interesting document. i hope my children will finally be interested in reading it some day. host: thank you. next up is donna in brandon, florida. you're on the "washington journal" this morning. caller: good morning thank you for taking my call. i'm calling this morning for three people. my father, george brewster who served in the navy during world war ii. he didn't get a lot of chance to fight. soon after he and eight others got spinal meningitis. he spent 18 months in the hospital. that was a couple of years before i was born. also donald who was a navy nurse. who was a prison of war and ship was shrunk by friendly fire.
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he was never recovered. i do remember going to the golden agers, my grandmother would call it. i believe it was gold star mothers when i was a child. she would make me sing. then my father-in-law, i used to say ex-father-in-law. he was a very good man to me after his son and i was divorced. he was 18 years old and a marine who stormed normandy beach. i just wanted to bring forth their memory. i hoped my uncle donald would be recovered before my mom passed away. we lost her at 95 in january. i know she's up there with him somewhere. host: thank you ma'am. well, on the significant
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anniversary, the president's travel over to normandy. this year is the 70th anniversary of d-day. it was ten years ago that president george w. bush spoke. >> the first wave of the landing here in omaha, one unit suffered 91% casualties. six hours after the landings, we held only ten yards of beach. british commando quantity had men killed while wounded. d-day veteran remembers the only thing that made me feel good was to look around and try to find somebody who looked more scared than i felt. that man was hard to find. all the beaches and landing grounds of d-day, men saw some
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images they would spend a lifetime preferring to forget. one soldier carries a memory of three paratroopers dead and hanging from telephone pole like a horrible crucifixion scene. all the thoughts of pain and death raw in relentless. the men of d-day also witnessed scenes they will proudly and faithfully recount. they remember men like technician john griffin jr. who's job would deliver vital radio equipment to the beach. he was gravely wounded before he hit shore and he kept going. he delivered the radio and instead of taking cover, went back into the surf three more
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times to salvage equipment. this young man from pennsylvania was shot twice again and died on the beach below us. host: 160,000 troops crossed the english channel on that day 70 years ago. 875,000 by the end of the month 44 how 44 -- 4400 troops were killed. the three main participants, the u.s., britain and canada. back to your calls this morning. 70th anniversary of d-day. next up is peggy in lexington, virginia. caller: hi. thank you so much for letting people share their stories as a people that they love even if
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they don't remember. i live in lexington, virginia, home of the virginia military institute. the story i would like to share is colonel ferry and dr. cooper. their brother. their cooper was a doctor. he was in england and colonel ferry from his story says the distinction of being the first allied prison of war taken in the pacific. he was serving on the base. i'm not sure exactly where. they knew that the japanese were coming. they were leaving the base and colonel ferry remembered he forgotten something. i assume it was some importance. he ran back to get these papers. when he was leaving, the japanese were coming in and
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bombing the tarmac. he was hit in the leg and has his men thought he was dead. they left him and the japanese captured him. he served the rest of the war on a slave ship. i will never heard of this. i think that we're failing in our history what of we're sharing with our children. these stories need to be told. i think they're not told. he was an amazing man because of the poor nutrition that when he was on the slave ship. they would move him from place to place. he had very poor eye sight. he was almost blind but he continued to go seeing -- skiig around the world. i think he's one of the most amazing men i met. one of the things i learned from dr. cooper, in world war ii, there was no trading out.
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you didn't have a tour duty. you were there for the duration of the war. you went over and you didn't come back until the war was over or until they brought you back in a casket. if i can share one last story. my dear friend frank and laura. frank was in the navy world war ii and got married during this time when there was rationing. she told me they got all the things together. the biggest thing she wanted for her wedding was to have roast beef. they did. people were so grateful for what little they had back then. i guess that's it. my uncle lenny also went to the virginia military institute and served with general patton. all he wanted to do was fly. lot of people don't realize there was no actual air force in
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world war ii. it was created after the war. he left the army joined the air force and became pilot and was test pilot and flew c130's. host: we will leave it there. 16 million people served in uniform from 1939 through 1945. the population of the u.s. at that time 132 million. 400,000 soldiers were lost in world war ii. caller: good morning. my story is completely different. i was born in europe in 1941.
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i was on a train. with a piece of paper around my neck with my name and my address. hopefully that somebody would take me and keep me because we were bombarded by the russians. we had a war with the russians. completely different from europe. diplomacy ended that war between russia and finland. that's my story. i'm a war child and i have those kind of memories. i remember one thing i wanted to say, i was told that angels lived in america. that was my opinion about
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america. anyway, that was my memories. thank you very much. host: where were you born? caller: [indiscernible] host: when did you come on the u.s.? caller: in 1974. host: all right. that's good run in florida calling in. next up on our calls here at the world war ii memorial is dwayne in waterville, ohio. you're on "washington journal." caller: good morning. i'm calling actually on behalf of my brother-in-law. his name is bob best. lives in ohio. he was in the navy. he was a gunner on the ships that took the troops in on d-day.
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i really wish you could talk to him and listen to some of the stories he had to tell about coming up to the beach and seeing all the parties that the american soldiers throwing in the water. i can only relate to the ones i also heard from him. they also talked about after the war going through -- after the war in europe, going to china to be trained by the invasion of japan. to sum up this call, i just want to honor my brother-in-law and i have another brother-in-law, norm. who was in the army during world
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war ii. i can only say the best things about it what i consider the greatest generation. thank you c-span. i appreciate your time. host: thank you sir. it was june 6, 1944 d-day. it was at the end of april 1945. ten months later that adolph hitler committed suicide in his bunker in berlin. officially the war in europe. d-day is may 8, 1945. then it was three months later that the war in the pacific ended as well but that was not signed. that treaty was not signed until early september 1945. the official start of the war, september 1, 1939 when germany invaded poland. in that month of september about
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100,000 poles lost their lives. all hell let loose. he's a british historian. got a few minutes to left to take your call and hear your remembrances of world war ii. we're live here at the world war ii memorial in washington d.c. between the washington monument up next is peter in louisville, kentucky. caller: i remember my father and fellow american legionnaires. on a sunday afternoon, we were listening to the radio. the men were in one room and women in the kitchen. i remember the war.
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i was five when it started, nine when it ended. the whole country, every veteran i talked to, every veteran talked about their experiences in war. my brother was a gunner with the air force in italy. i asked him before he passed away, why none of them talked about it. i certainly wanted to hear all the facts. my brother said, you know, we're all had experiences. but none of us wanted to talk about them. the next guy had worse experiences than we did. i was very proud of the american soldiers and remain so.
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i enlisted in the air force in 1952. my dad was a world war i vet and my brother-in-law and everybody else i knew was in world war ii. the american soldier was pretty much an honorable guy. i'm proud of the men and i'm grateful for them. we do enjoy freedom today because of them. thank you. host: thank you sir. next up is jean, appleton, wisconsin. caller: i was a teenage girl growing up in southwest england tour bay. which was one of the staging points for the d-day. we had a half a block from my home gulf coast which for several months, had been totally covered with american soldiers
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living in tents. we got to know them pretty well. corresponded with them for a while after they went to europe. i'm not quite sure, they did not leave right on d-day but it was very tense on d-day. they left about two days later. we woke up in the morning and everybody and all of the vehicles and all the armormen had been on the gulf coast had vanished. all the ships had been in the bay had gone. we knew they were on their way to -- i presume omaha beach. earlier in the war, we had been -- our town had been in the direct path of regular waves of german bombers heading to the
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royal dock yard just outside of plymouth about 30-miles from my home. my sister in world war ii, she was considerably older than i was. she was serving in the royal artillery and managed aircraft gun. firing down german planes. host: jean, do you remember the bombers flying over you in england? caller: indeed i do. we had bombs dropped on my hometown. they were more the very low flying what they called wave
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hoppers. just came in and dropped a few bombs and machine gunned and went back. they would come in so fast that the radar couldn't pick them. and the sirens don't go off until after they gone. but the night time bombers, i remember this continuous roar of these planes. the guns firing at them. we had as many as a hundred around our bay for a while. it depended on how many ships were flying them and how many of them were permanently on land. when they bombed the dock air at davenport. the whole sky would light up. just red. i guess it was the west of us, little bit north of west. we knew what they were bombing because it was a regular thing.
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the town. plymouth was badly damaged. host: were you still in england when the war ended? caller: yes i was. it's in high school. host: tell us about that day. caller: it was a strange day. as i say, we had become so accustomed to having the troops there beside us and chatting with them. to wake up suddenly a couple of days after d-day, knowing we had known they would be going soon. d-day, they were still with us within a day or two. they vanished all at once. overnight they were gone. that's the thing i remember the most about the day, d-day itself and the days following. host: jean, if we can ask you a
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personal question. did you end up marrying an american soldier. caller: no, i didn't. i ended up immigrating to canada. i married a man who served in the canadian armed forces. he had been stationed on the west coast of canada. that was quite a few years later. i did not marry an american. i was too young at >> tomorrow on "washington journal" nancy cook discusses the made jobs report. report thattreet some veterans affairs facilities shows different treatment results among patients. discusses a new report this is the number of al
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qaeda and other jihadist groups is growing and not shrinking. as always, you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. "washington journal" live at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. next, president obama speaks at d-day anniversary ceremony in normandy will stuff that is followed by the international of service in france. after that, form of the i director on cyber security -- former director of cyber security. his first vision occurred in a book that he began writing in in 1832. in the front part of the outcome he wrote a personal history about his life to that point. in this history, he describes this vision that he had 12 years earlier. he himself did not write things personally, but he had clerks
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writing for him at work. rentedre about two dozen volumes about 500 pages a piece. >> learn about the rich history and literary life of salt lake city, utah on c-span 2 book tv and sunday at 2 p.m. on c-span 3 american history tv. on june 6, 1944, 160,000 allied troops attacked along a stretch of french coastline. 9000 casualties resulted. by day's end, the allies had gained a foothold. to mark the anniversary, president obama to live remarks to the american cemetery and memorial. one of the landing spots and during the invasion. the president thanked
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veterans for their service and greeted many of the following the speech. this is about one hour 20 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the presidents of the french republic and of the united states. french]king
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>> please remain standing for the posting of the colors and the playing of the national anthem of the french republic and the united states of america. >> [speaking french]
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♪ [french anthem playing]
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♪ ♪
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[drumroll] ["star spangled banner" playing] ♪
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[applause] >> presidents, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, please be seated. >> [speaking french]
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>> it is our privilege to welcome all the distinguished visitors joining us today. we extend a special welcome to the d-day and world war ii veterans and their family members in attendance who honor us all with their presence. today we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the d-day landing which began on the morning of june 6, 1944. [applause] >> today's ceremony will honor our military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the liberation of europe. including among those we honor are the 9,387 of our fallen veterans interned at this sacred ground and the 1,557 missing in action inscribed on the walls of the missing. >> [speaking french]
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>> ladies and gentlemen. please bow your heads for the invocation delivered by the most reverend f. richard spencer. >> [speaking french]
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>> may we join our hearts together in prayer. almighty and eternal god, as we gather here on holy ground to remember the fallen heroes of yesterday, everything we see, everything that we cannot see exists because of you alone. peace comes from you. it all belongs to you. peace exists for your glory. history is our story. our path here today is to not fix the blame, but to fix the course for the future. give to our leaders to lead us with humility, the compassion to lead us with generosity. help us to remember that we are human beings, united not by race or religion or blood, but to our
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common commitment to freedom and justice for all. help us to share, to serve, and to seek the common good for everyone. whenever we face difficult days ahead, my we have a new birth of clarity in our aims. responsibility in our actions some humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes, even when we differ from one another. may all people of goodwill join together to work for a more just, more healthy, and more prosperous world and a more prosperous planet. in your holy name, we pray, amen.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the french republic francois hollande. >> [speaking french] [applause] >> [speaking french] >> dear veterans of d-day, ladies and gentlemen, today we commemorate on june 6, a memorable date in our history, where our two peoples were joined in the same struggle, the struggle for liberty.
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we are here today next to the beach near the cemetery, a peaceful beach. on june 6 1944, it was a horrible battlefield. this is what we want to remember today, 70 years later. in history, there are always challenges to face. things sometimes go wrong. and in the pre-hours of dawn, everything started to go wrong on omaha beach.
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the air force had landed behind the german air forces. the navy's artillery had missed its targets and the tanks that were to support the infantry had sunk. the soldiers of the first waves of the assault found themselves lightly armed and faced with rifles, heavy artillery, and machine guns. they were mutilated, massacred, while the survivors were pinned down on the sand among the dead and wounded under deadly fire. while the tide came in. the nazis were sure of themselves.
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they believed they would repel all assaults thanks to the bunkers on the atlantic wall. the had not reckoned with the fact that in democracy, a great ideal takes great courage. men would give their lives to save other lives -- on the continent of liberty. every man who set foot on omaha beach on june 6, 1944 was the hero. these young soldiers regrouped with a few officers with no orders and no plan and they ran toward the german fences.
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this desperate, unexpected, irresistible assault was victorious. a few hours later, they had won the battle. omaha, utah, all of these names evoke suffering and glory, desolation and pride, cruelty and deliverance. more than 20,000 americans gave their lives here in normandy. 20,838. i shall not forget one of them. they were your relatives, your brothers, and your friends. they were our liberators. france will never forget what we owe to these men and women.
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what we owe to the united states of america. france will never forget the solidarity between our two nations. the solidarity that prevailed during the two great tragedies of the last century, which we faced on our shared dream of freedom. america remembers the contribution that france made to its revolution. in 1917, when france's independence was at stake, america was there to preserve it. in 1944, when france's soil was occupied, america was there to free it.
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i know what that cost to the united states, this great brother country, so much sacrifice and human loss. 11 soldiers honored here in this little normandy village, which one day was the most important place in the world. here lie the martyrs of bloody omaha and the heroes. they fell to save europe. i would like to share with you a few names. father and son both killed in july 1944, one in italy and the
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other in normandy, both of them here to save europe. 66 are buried two by two, side-by-side. among all these white crosses, three bear the goldstar, the mark of the medal of honor. one of the first men to land at omaha. all day, he fought on the beach without cover before falling under enemy fire without ever seeing the victory.
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another who single-handedly captured a post defended by 43 germans. he died four days later in the countryside. last but not least, general roosevelt, the son of the 26th president of the usa died on july 12, 1944, he is buried alongside his brother, who was shot out of the sky over champagne on july 14, 1918. their crosses stand side-by-side, testifying to the unbroken ties between our two people, from one generation to the next.
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as the president, i will reiterate the oath of my predecessors. we will never forget. we will never forget the sacrifice of the american servicemen. mr. president, we are the children and grandchildren of this great generation. i was born here in normandy. in a town that was almost completely destroyed during this battle. mr. president, you were born in hawaii, in a state that was heavily struck by the war. our parents, our grandparents told us the stories of these sufferings, of these combats. they raised us telling us that for everything to change, nothing should be forgotten. our nations have built a hope
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from this common memory, the hope of peace. that is the image projected today by normandy, where everyone is gathered today. normandy, where those who fought each other yesterday, stand here together today. mr. president, for 70 years the, -- united states in spite of challenges, has always been the friend we can count on. this is the friendship of two nations who were born into modernity.
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this is the friendship of two nations and shared admiration of the philosophies of the enlightenment. the friendship of two nations that stand together in the face of tyranny who want to make the world fairer, more democratic, more peaceful. the french people recognize and americans and indefatigably and americans. what we admire most because they themselves are the most ardent defenders in the love of freedom and they'd know that one a critical moment comes, when our
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fundamental principles are in danger, france and the united states always stand side-by-side, like in the terrible summer of 1944 on the beaches of normandy and the beaches of provence. united against the threat against mankind. today, we stand together to face other threats -- climate change, inequality, underdevelopment, poverty, hunger. still today, we stand together to face those perils. fundamentalism, extremism, terrorism. the silence of this sacred place
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expresses the message of the soldiers the soldiers who lie here. they died so we might live in freedom. we must be worthy of our past to continue making history. long live america, long-lived france, long live the memory of those who lost their lives here today for freedom. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states of america, barack obama. [applause] >> [speaking french] >> president hollande, to the people of france, friends, the
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families, our veterans, if prayer were made of sound, the skies over england that night would have deafened the world. captains paced their decks. pilots tapped their gauges. commanders pored over maps, fully aware that for all the months of meticulous planning, everything could go wrong -- the winds, the tides, the element of surprise -- and above all, the audacious bet that what waited on the other side of the channel
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would compel men not to shrink away, but to charge ahead. fresh-faced g.i.'s rubbed trinkets, kissed pictures of sweethearts, checked and re-checked their equipment. "god," asked one, "give me guts." and in the pre-dawn hours, planes rumbled down runways, gliders and paratroopers slipped through the sky, giant screws began to turn on an armada that looked like more ships than sea. and more than 150,000 souls set off towards this tiny sliver of sand upon which hung more than the fate of a war, but rather the course of human history.
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president hollande, distinguished guests, i'm honored to return here today to pay tribute to the men and women of a generation who defied every danger -- among them, our veterans of d-day. and, gentlemen, we are truly humbled by your presence here today. [applause] just last week, i received a letter from a french citizen. "dear mr. president and the
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american people," he wrote, "we -- [applause] just last week, i received a letter from a french citizen. "dear mr. president and the american people," he wrote, "we are honored to welcome you, to thank you again for all the pain and efforts of the american people and others in our common struggle for freedom."
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today, we say the same to the people of france. thank you, especially, for the generosity that you've shown the americans who've come here over the generations -- to these beaches, and to this sacred place of rest for 9,387 americans. at the end of the war, when our ships set off for america, filled with our fallen, tens of thousands of liberated europeans turned out to say farewell, and they pledged to take care of the more than 60,000 americans who would remain in cemeteries on this continent. in the words of one man, we will take care of the fallen "as if their tombs were our
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children's." and the people of france, you have kept your word like the true friends you are. we are forever grateful. [applause] here, we don't just commemorate victory, as proud of that victory as we are. we don't just honor sacrifice, as grateful as the world is. we come to remember why america and our allies gave so much for the survival of liberty at this moment of maximum peril. we come to tell the story of the men and women who did it so that it remains seared into the
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memory of a future world. we tell this story for the old soldiers who pull themselves a little straighter today to salute brothers who never made it home. we tell the story for the daughter who clutches a faded photo of her father, forever young, for the child who runs his fingers over colorful ribbons he knows signify something of great consequence, even if he doesn't yet fully understand why. we tell this story to bear what witness we can to what happened when the boys from america reached omaha beach. by daybreak, blood soaked the water, bombs broke the sky. thousands of paratroopers had dropped into the wrong landing
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sites, thousands of rounds bit into flesh and sand. entire companies' worth of men fell in minutes. "hell's beach" had earned its name. by 8:30 a.m., general omar bradley expected our troops to be a mile inland. "six hours after the landings," he wrote, "we held only ten yards of beach." in this age of instant commentary, the invasion would have swiftly and roundly been declared, as it was by one officer, "a debacle." but such a race to judgment would not have taken into account the courage of free men. "success may not come with rushing speed," president roosevelt would say that night, "but we shall return again and again."

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